c I came home December 15,2010 //

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pictures (July 2009)

Missionaries will always find a way to goof off.

Here Comes the Bride (07/31/2009)

We had interviews Tuesday and then Wednesday some missionaries had priest-age kids going out with them and Thursday too so here we are Friday with our p-day.

I had a lot written down but I forgot my planner so I am going to have to remember it.

Well, we have a lady set for a baptismal date of August 15th. She got her answer and has made friends with people in the ward. She doesn't really know everything but she knows it is true which maters the most. Her name is Veronica.

Second. The Rodriquez Family is getting married. We told them that they needed to get married so the Branch President is going to marry them on the 22nd of August. I am really excited. The things you go through on your mission.

We have 13 investigators that came to church on Sunday between the 5 units. The Connell Spanish Branch had 10 of those. It was really good. The Branch runs about 15 to 20 and we had 40. It was awesome.

So how is San Diego? It has been pretty hot here and I have been thinking a lot about what you have been doing there but thankfully we have been really busy so I haven’t had too much time to think about it.

Mom you asked me who wrote me. Clint and I write every week. I have gotten a couple of letters from Leah and other people from EA and Katie, Jill’s sister, has written me a couple of times and that’s about it. I think most people have forgotten about me by now. Oh well.

Well, like I said I forgot my planner so this letter is pretty short but I think I got most of the highlights. I was unable to view the videos because there are no speakers here at the library but I will get some head phones and watch them on Tuesday. I will have more to say then.

Have a great last night in SD. Talk to you later.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Halfway through the transfer (07/21/2009)

Well before I forget, next week we have interviews so I will be e-mailing on Wednesday. Also we went to the temple today so that’s why I am emailing so late.

Well, as I said before, we went to the temple today. It was good as normal. I did it in Spanish again so that was fun and exciting. All was well. I am starting to appreciate the temple more now that I kind of know what I am doing.

I played the Piano in church again. It seems as though they are really going to rely on me to play. I enjoy playing but I am going to have to fine tune some other songs. I am really enjoying playing though.

On my talks I gave last week in church, I just made a few notes. I think in Spanish and just shared it. I pretty much just shared three stories and a couple of scriptures and my testimony. Nothing too fancy.

The weather hasn't been that bad here. It is hot but not too too hot.

We really worked hard last week. We taught 68 lessons and found 8 new investigators and a bunch of other potential ones. It is amazing how when you work harder, it seems the people you are teaching feel the spirit so much more powerfully.

We went back to Yahdel’s on Tuesday but he had gone to Othello, we went back on Friday (I think) to set up another appointment. He invited us in but he had to go somewhere so we just set up another appointment. He seemed pretty sorry for not being there for the last appointment.

Tonight we have an appointment with the Gonzaga family. I think we are going to try and put them on a date for baptism. I think I mentioned them in my letter home last week.

Whenever we are in the first visit, I try to ask them to read something out loud while we are there. If they accept then I know they can read. If they say no, then it usually means they can't read so we have to try a different attack.

I already got a hole in one of my socks. It is in the toe but they are only 7 months old so that’s not a good sign for the rest of them.

Well you guys are all rotten for going to SD without me. I want to hear all of the details in the next letter and Pictures are a must. Speaking of which, will you guys send back the camera chip so I can send the chip I have, to you.

Well I had better run. Sorry the letter is so short, not much happened this week. We are halfway done with the transfer already. Time is flying. We’ll talk to you next week. Have Fun in SD!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Questionaire (07/15/2009)

We recently sent Matthew a questionnaire (in bold). His responses are italicized.

What is your companion’s name and where is he from? Elder Mendez was born in Mexico, moved to DC, then to California and then to Utah.
Do you speak Spanish together all of the time? Not all the time but a good amount.
Do you knock a lot of doors? No not really. We have a lot going on right now.
Who drives the car? How is the Mazda 3?
Elder Mendez drives. The car is not bad, it just looks flashy that’s all.
When you are working in the Spanish areas do they feed you? We eat in Connell Monday, Thursday and Saturday and the Spanish families mix with the English but there are only three active Spanish families so we don’t eat with them much. Then Wednesday, Friday and Sunday we are in Basin City. One week, we eat with Basin City 1st (English). The next is Basin City 2nd (English) then the next is Basin City 3rd ( Spanish) and that just rotates.
What crops are grown in the area? They grow corn, hay, cherries, and potatoes.
How many members are there in the Spanish branches? There are about 20 members in Connell and about 30 in Basin City.
The English branches? Or are they wards? The English wards are good size. I would say about 150 or so.
Did you know any of the Elders that are in your district before? Yes, Elder Uribe is in Pasco and Elder Stewart was in my district in Toppenish.
Do you like them? I love them all.
Do you always spend your P-days with them? Yes, so far.
Are they Spanish speaking Elders as well? Yes, we speak Spanish then there are two sets of Elders in Pasco and a set of sisters in Kennewick that all work for one branch.
Is the number of missionaries in the Kennewick mission growing or staying the same? The number is staying the same but 105 missionaries have been out six months or less.
What is your favorite part of the mission so far? Probably watching the spirit overtake me in what I am saying and then touch the people I am talking to.
What do people do for fun in such a small town as Connell? They go to Pasco.
What is the family like that you are living with? Are they farmers, do you live on a farm? We don’t see them much since we live in the basement but they are really nice. Yes, they are farmers and yes we live on a farm.
Do they have children? A lot but they have all moved out. Three of their children are still in the ward though.
What do they do for work? Farm
Do you spend any time with them? No, not really. We just tell them what we did that day.
How many people are you teaching right now? About 15 or so.
Do you feel any are close to baptism? Yes a lot. (See enclosed letter)
How are the mosquito bites? I haven’t gotten any here for some reason.
Are most of the members in the wards farmer? The majority are farmers.
Is that the main industry in the area? Yes.
Are there any colleges close by? The closest is in Pasco.
Is it humid or basically pleasant weather?
It is pleasant.

A hand written letter home (07/15/2009)

Well, since we only get an hour on the computer here, I thought I would snail mail a little. We are teaching a lot of people right now. One couple is Pablo and Araccli. They both are awesome. They both have received their answer that it is true.

Another family is Alfonso and Alejandra. They just started coming to church. Great people though.

Another is Imelda. She still hasn't gotten her answer yet but she is progressing .

Another family is the Gonzaga family. They were taught a few years ago but stopped for whatever reason. I was able to tell them last night that either The Book of Mormon is true or it is not. If it is true then this church is true. If it isn’t, then this is a fraud. I think the spirit touched them. They now have to pray to get their answer.

There are others but those are the closest to baptism. One of the problems we have is some of the people we are teaching aren't married so that makes it tough.

So pray like it is all up to the Lord and I will work like is all up to me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Well Hello! (07/14/2009)

Why Hello from Pasco, Washington. That is where we do our e-mailing. Connell is doing pretty good. I feel like I am starting to get to know the wards a little bit. I feel like I have to take charge in some of the meetings. Elder Mendez isn't that quiet but you can tell he was in the past because he kind of has a tough time talking to people. So sometime I kind of have to step in and explain some things.

On Sunday I had to speak in church.....twice. First I had to speak in the Connell Spanish Branch. I was the first speaker and the Elder Mendez was the second speaker. Then an hour later I, had to speak in the Basin City Spanish Branch. This time I was the only one. This meant I had to fill 30 minutes. I was somewhat rambling at the end but I filled the time. I had to speak on Service in both of them.

I have to play the piano in the Connell Branch. One member that got back from his mission about a year ago told me that I have won the hearts of the every member in the branch because I can play the piano. They had just been using a CD for their accompaniment. They let me pick the songs so I can play what I am comfortable with but I have really been practicing so I can have a better variety of what I can play. It is really fun and I really enjoy playing. I suppose all of those times struggling through the songs in Priesthood meeting has paid off.

Last Wednesday we went to a lady’s house for an appointment. She said she was busy but we just asked for five minutes so she let us in. We read the intro to The Book of Mormon with her. While we were reading it, her nephew came in and sat in. It was kind of interesting so we just went on. He asked us why our religion is different than other religions. We explained about the authority being lost and then restored and he said oh, that’s interesting. At the end, we asked the lady, named Mercedes to pray; she didn't want to but the nephew Yahdel, said he would. So he starts his prayer and says “Thank you God for sending these guys to me. I have wanted to find a religion so thank you for letting me talk to these guys.” It was awesome. We are going back there tonight.

The weather has been weird. One day it is 100 degrees and the next day it is 75. It stays pretty cool at night so it’s not bad at all. When the members find out I am from Arizona, they say that I must be used to the Washington heat.

A little bit about the place where we live. Their name is the Knights. They are really nice and have a big house out in the middle of nowhere. The coolest part about their house is they have a drinking fountain. We live in the basement. It has a sink, a little fridge and a microwave with a bathroom and a bedroom. It is pretty nice.

Elder Mendez and I don't speak Spanish all of the time. He moved to Utah from Mexico when he was one so he speaks English. He was baptized when he was 12, has been out on his mission for about nine months and I am his first junior companion.

Connell is mainly made up of farms - a lot more than Toppenish. There is a TON of corn here. There is also a potato factory that supplies 80% of the French Fries in America. So there are a lot of potatoes too.

Are you guys excited for your San Diego trip? Don't have too much fun without me. I can't believe ya'll are already going. Man time flies.

Some things I thought about would be cool for presents if you are thinking about that. Elder Cavaness had a calendar that his mom made that you can order on the internet. It had pictures of his family and different birthday and dates already in there. That would be sweet.

Well that’s all I have for this week. Seven months on Friday. I tell everyone six months now though. I probably will until about November.

Well I gotta run.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Connell, Washington (07/08/2009)

Well, I have made it to Connell. The Town has about 3,000 people and it feels smaller than that if you believe it. We spend Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays there while we spend Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays in Basin City which is about 20 miles southwest of Connell. Both are good areas but there are a little bit more members in Basin City so that makes it a little bit more fun. The people in Connell are a little bit poorer, not super poor, just not as well off. In Basin City, there are so many fields. People have very nice homes and are very nice. It is fun because we do a lot of Spanish work in the day which I love and then we go to these huge houses for dinner which is really fun too.

One funny experience we had was we went to this less active member’s house and there were the two ladies that were doing something with a chicken and I looked away and about 2 minutes later I looked back and one lady had it by its legs without a head on. It was crazy. They had just killed a chicken for dinner.

Other than that, it is not too bad here. We are super busy with a lot of people that are ready for baptism but just need to get married. Sunday, I asked a lady if she wanted to be baptized but she said she wanted to read more of the book (The Book of Mormon). But later she asked what she had to do to be baptized and I was able to tell her with the spirit there that she had to be married first. She is living with this guy that is a member but for whatever reason won’t get married to this girl. She seemed to take it all right but her boyfriend was nodding his head agreeing with me so he knows. I just don’t know why he won’t.

We have a lot of other people we are teaching. The towns are really small but since we can be in each town, three days a week, we stay very very busy. This week went by super fast.

Now for some other things that I meant to tell you in past e-mails but forgot to mention. When we had Spanish Conference way back in April, we were riding in the car with President Belnap and he asked Elder Uribe, the Elder from Chile, what he missed most about Chile. Well Elder Uribe thought for a second and said the beaches. Well if you have ever heard anyone with a Latin accent say beaches, sometimes it sounds like another word that should not be named. So he says beaches, and President Belnap says what?!? with a confused look and Elder Uribe says again, the beaches and President Belnap again very very confused, says what?!? Then I helped them both out and said beaches. It was hilarious. Ever since then, Elder Uribe calls beaches, the sea shore. Good call on his part.

Another incident was back in Toppenish we got a referral for someone that wanted the “Restoration” DVD. So we dropped it off and set up a return appointment. We come back and they are all outside eating dinner. So we sit down and start talking to them. Not much about the gospel because they were a little preoccupied so we said we will come back another day. Then one lady said why don't you share something from the Bible. So Elder Cavaness gets out his scriptures and starts talking about James 1:5 and how that’s the scripture that prompted Joseph Smith to pray. And this one guy says it never mentions Joseph Smith in the Bible. So he and Elder Cavaness go back and forth about this. I just kind of sat back and listened because I don't like to get into bashes because people just go round and round. But finally, I just asked the guy “how did you get a testimony of the Bible”. I felt like I was in a rap battle with the simultaneous “ooooh” from the other family members. Well he was dumbfounded and just says because it says in it that it is true. He kept talking about the book of Daniel and all sorts of weird things. At one point of time his brother told him to answer our questions, he said you aren't answering his questions you are just talking. So that was pretty neat. At the end, that same brother said hey we are all sinners, theses guys (pointing to me and Elder Cavaness) are good people and doing the best they can. They can receive revelations to tell us what God wants us to hear. That was pretty sweet to hear form a non-member. It was a crazy situation - but fun and spiritual all at the same time.

Well my little spiritual side for today is talking about giving my all. I realized that after our zone conference yesterday and speaking with the Stake President here in Pasco that it’s not giving 100%. It’s giving 125%. That is the best for the Lord. You have to give it your all.

Well that’s all I’ve got.

Have a great week.